Oddly Enough

Freak shot lands golfer in court and caddy in hospital

A golfer casts a shadow as he practises on the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland, July 10, 2005. REUTERS/Max Rossi

SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean golfer has paid a heavy price for an embarrassing shot that landed his caddy in hospital.

The golfer, identified by the country’s Supreme Court only as “Jung,” was fined 2 million won (911 pounds) for the incident, which occurred at a club in Gunsan Province more than two years ago.

Media reports said Jung had wound up a huge swing at the third hole but when his left foot slipped, the ball rocketed off in the wrong direction and struck his caddy -- standing eight metres behind him -- in the stomach.

The caddy needed seven weeks of hospital treatment.

The Supreme Court recognized lower courts’ ruling that Jung had violated the duty of due care to prevent injury to others while playing a sport.

“In events such as boxing or judo, injury to the opponent is to be expected so there is that mitigating circumstance,” the court said.

“But in golf, it is unreasonable to expect a caddy should anticipate injury to him or herself.”

Reporting by Park Ju-min and Jack Kim; Editing by Peter Rutherford